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Do We Need to Sacrifice Our Privacy for Big Data?

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I was talking to a programmer friend the other day. He helps develop actuarial algorithms for insurance companies. He is constantly pointing out that his algorithms are beneficial to insurance companies and beneficiaries alike. They are necessary to set fair premiums.

He had a slight change of tune the other day. His own insurance rates went up by 10% because of a discovery that one of his insurers made. He believes that they used his own algorithm to find some personal information about him. He didn’t reveal what it was, but felt upset that his privacy may have been violated, although in a perfectly legal way. He wasn’t so concerned about the change in his rates, so much as the feeling that his privacy was violated.

This forced me to start thinking about the consequences of big data.

Do we need to sell our privacy for the benefits of big data?

Big data has made our lives better in countless ways.  Unfortunately, we don’t spend enough time talking about the cost that comes with it. The biggest downside of big data is the loss of privacy.

You can’t deny that our privacy has been compromised over the past few years. Facebook, Google, Comcast and other …

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